In the home real estate industry, two of the most oft-asked questions are “Why do I need a survey when buying a house?” and “What’s included in a survey for the purchase of a new home?”.  Advance Surveying and Engineering, a professional land surveyor serving Minneapolis staffed by a professional team of talented land surveyors and civil engineer, answers both questions here while also addressing who does a survey when buying a house.

Why You Need a Survey

A property survey outlines the legal boundaries of a property: property markers, property lines, boundary lines, and other important information intrinsic to the property on which your new home sits. Though land surveys aren’t mandatory to complete a real estate transaction, any estate agent will tell you that they’re very helpful in terms of clearing up any confusion and heading off potential disputes regarding property boundaries, where to build a fence, etc.

Reasons why you should pursue professional land surveying when buying a house include:

Boundary dispute resolution

As alluded to above, one of the main reasons why homeowners get land surveys is to settle a disagreement regarding where one person’s property ends and the other person’s begins. This type of boundary surveying is especially common when one person wants to erect a fence that might infringe on their neighbor’s property. If the two sides can’t agree, a professional surveyor is summoned to determine where the property boundary line is located to assist in the building of the fence.

Building a new home

When building a home, most states require a land survey conducted by an experienced land surveyor. There are different surveys mapped – for example, a topographical survey is undertaken to confirm elevation points and ascertain the best place to build the home, establish drainage, and other important new-home components.

Assessing plot size and price

A professional survey is helpful when determining the exact size of a plot of land. For example, if a survey finds that the property is smaller than the seller is advertising, the survey becomes a strong negotiating tool for the buyer to bargain with.  

What’s included in a new home survey?

When you contract with a land surveyor, their land surveying services should include:

  • Property boundaries
  • Verification of the surrounding homes
  • A written description of the property (from the property deed)
  • Highlight any easements, setbacks, or property restrictions to be aware of for any future development, as supplied to the land surveyor from the client.
  • Location of any improvements
  • Confirmation of whether the home is in a floodplain

Who does a survey when buying a house?

The survey is conducted by trained surveyors who use the latest technologies, which may include GPS and drones, to physically measure the land your house sits on. The surveyor relies on the record plat to guide the land surveyor in the re-establishment of the boundary of the property.

If you’re buying a home near Minnetonka, visit our website today for more information on land development, surveying, and property lines.


May 15, 2018 Advance Surveying